'Worst people in the world’ becoming face of GOP: Conservative commentator

Charlie Sykes joined the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.

Sykes says, “Steve Bannon is so much a part of this Trump story. Here’s a guy who flirted with the ‘alt-right.’ Don’t pass this point — he was in the White House. He had the ear of the president of the United States. Here’s basically one of the gods of dysfunction, and he was sitting in the White House.”

“Look at this from Donald Trump’s point of view. Part of the fact of Trump’s success is that he empowered the fringes. This is his base, and I think Trump was rattled a lot by what happened in Alabama because he cannot afford to let someone get to the more populist right than him. You see this back-and-forth, this tug of wanting to get things done but recognizing that these folks from crazy town are the ones that got you the nomination and got you elected. I think he’s going to ping-pong between the two of them.”

Sykes goes on to say Democrats should like what they see in those two states.

“If I am a Democrat, I am delighted to see Steve Bannon burning down, trying to destroy incumbent Republicans and replace them with rather eccentric folks out there.”

Sykes says he “cringes” when he talks about Ryan, one of his former favorite radio guests, mentioning his “really profound disappointment.”

“I have known him for many years and really did see him as the intellectual leader of the conservative movement and very much the alternative path the conservatives and Republicans could have taken. He had no illusions about who and what Donald Trump was, but he’s made a Faustian bargain.” Sykes says Ryan is “all in” on Trump.

“The reality of Donald Trump is that, even though for the moment he will occasionally adopt conservative values, Donald Trump is not a deeply principled, deep-thinking individual. He is not a lifelong movement conservative. He will throw them under the bus whenever it becomes convenient. And much of his base will go along with him.”